PAHO/Canada signs agreement to reduce maternal and infant deaths in Haiti

first_imgThe Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has signed a new partnership with Canada aimed at reducing the number of maternal and infant deaths in Haiti.PAHO said it will execute the CAN$39.8 million project in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada over a four year period and the project will also address the reproductive needs of women, as well as health care priorities of new-borns and infants in the country.The SESAME (Essential care for Mothers and Children) project aims to improve the health, the lives and rights of women and children in Haiti and to advance the unfinished agenda on women’s health from a development perspective,” PAHO said.PAHO said the SESAME project, will support 45 referral hospitals, 10 at the departmental level and 35 community hospitals in all departments in the country.Key components of the project include –  establishing performance based contracting; developing a strengthening plan for each hospital; training to improve personnel competencies of on sexual and reproductive health and child health.last_img read more

CDB launches reconstruction project in BVI

first_imgThe Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has launched a rehabilitation and reconstruction project in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to assist the island recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma last September.According to the CDB, the project will be funded through a US$65.3 million loan and a US$300,000 grant. The main components of the project include road rehabilitation; construction of schools and coastal defenses; improvement of water and sewage facilities; and capacity building for the provision of psychosocial support and disaster risk reduction. Implementation is expected to be completed over a three-year period.Getting BVI livelihoods back-on-track“It is time to get our livelihoods back on track. It is time for us to get on with the several projects and initiatives that are identified for each ministry in the loan agreement. And, it is time to weather proof our infrastructure and rebuild it in a way that offers some resiliency to unprecedented weather patterns,” Premier. Dr.  D. Orlando Smith, said at the launch.He said the funds would also help to restore economic stability to the British Overseas Territory.CDB general counsel, Diana Wilson Patrick, said the project is a further extension of CDB’s efforts to help the BVI recover from the impact of the category 5 storm, after the bank had initially provided an emergency relief grant of US$200,000 and response loans of US$2.25 million.“It was with a sense of some pride that the management and staff of the Caribbean Development Bank were able to work with our counterparts in the Government of the Virgin Islands to have financing towards the proposed rehabilitation and reconstruction activities approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on December 14, 2017.“This was a mere three months after Hurricane Irma caused the loss of four lives and an estimated US$3.6 billion in damage to homes, schools, infrastructure, public administration and defense and several other sectors; disrupting the lives of the country’s men, women, boys and girls,” she said.last_img read more

Steel Pan Prodigy Kobie Alleyne receives Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College…

first_imgCaribbean American musician and steel pan protégé, Kobie Alleyne, was selected as a Presidential Scholar at Berklee College of Music commencing this fall, September 2018.Kobie is a first generation Caribbean American of Trinidad & Tobago descent residing in Miami.  Kobie was raised in a family of steel pan musicians and played a role as a member of the Steel Away Ensemble.Kobie was selected for this honor out of a pool of more than 5,000 applicants to the fall class of Berklee, involving an extensive international talent search via our World Scholarship Tour.  A final group of twenty candidates were reviewed, resulting in just five U.S. recipients and two international recipients.With this honor comes a responsibility and commitment to the recipients development in a challenging artistic environment and a future filled with limitless potential.Berklee expects to provide Kobie with an educational framework and the tools to be used in his professional career as a performer, composer, educator, producer, engineer, therapist, music business manager, or any chosen professional endeavor.  He will follow in the footsteps of a long list of distinguished and successful Berklee alumni.His Presidential Scholarship will cover tuition, comprehensive fee, required laptop fee and on-campus housing charges.last_img read more

St. Lucia PM reshuffles cabinet

first_imgOn Tuesday Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced a minor re-shuffle to his two and a half-year-old Cabinet saying the changes were necessary to ensure greater synergy, efficiency and improve responsiveness to the needs of St. Lucians. He said effective November 1, Dominic Fedee who served as a Minister in the Office of Prime Minister, became the Minister of Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, with the additional portfolios of Culture and Creative Industries.Former Culture and local Government Minister, Fortuna Belrose, has been demoted to the position of Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries with responsibility for Culture and the Creative Industries. Bradley Felix will now serve as the Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, while Lenard Montoute, will take over the portfolio of Local Government, in addition to having responsibility for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment.Prime Minister Chastanet said that Edmund Estephane, who served as the Minister in the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth, has now become the Minister for Youth Development and Sports.last_img read more

US Court blocks census question for Caribbean immigrants

first_imgJumaane D. Williams NEW YORK, CMC – Caribbean American New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams has welcomed a ruling by a US federal judge blocking the Trump administration from including a question on citizenship status for Caribbean and other immigrants in the 2020 Census.“Time and again, over the last two years, we’ve seen the courts acting as a check against the immorality and inhumanity of this administration in a role they’ve often played throughout our history,” said Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, who represents the overwhelmingly Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn. “I celebrate this ruling with the millions of immigrants throughout our city and our country who feared they would be targeted or silenced if this question were allowed to tarnish and bias the census,” he added.US federal rules were brokenJustice Jesse M. Furman of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday that Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the US Commerce Department Secretary, broke “a veritable smorgasbord” of US federal rules when he ordered the citizenship question added to the census nearly a year ago.The judge described as “egregious” Ross’s cherry-picking of facts to corroborate his stance and said that the Commerce Department Secretary ignored or skewed opposing evidence and concealed deliberations from Census Bureau experts.“I am a first generation American, the son of immigrants. I represent a community of immigrants, in a city, a state and nation of immigrants. These communities need to stand up and be heard in this census to ensure that their voices and their numbers are represented by our government,” said Williams, a candidate for New York City Public Advocate.Victory was struck“This administration’s primary goal is and has always been to create an ‘other,’ and to exploit that division and bigotry. A victory was struck against that goal today, and we will continue to keep up the fight.”Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project, said the ruling was “a forceful rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities.”In a joint statement, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Cecilia Clarke, president of Brooklyn Community Foundation, welcomed the court’s decision.“We are thrilled to congratulate the advocacy work of the New York Immigration Coalition, as well as so many other immigrant rights organizations that have raised their voices against this injustice,” they said.Adams and Clarke also said they celebrated Judge Furman’s decision as “a milestone in the fight for a fair and accurate Census count.The 2020 census count will determine whether a state gains or loses seats in the US House of Representatives when redistricting starts a year later.last_img read more

Restoring the Caribbean to the paradise it used to be

first_imgWhen people think of the Caribbean, it’s the turquoise seas, clean beaches, coral reefs teeming with fish, turtles and balmy breezes that come to mind.For us, this paradise is what we call home. We depend upon its riches for sustenance and, often, to make a living. It is the origin of much of the pride we feel when we say we are from the Caribbean.Increasingly however, the reality does not live up to expectations—we may arrive at the seashore to find it covered with sargassum, the water cloudy and brown, and the horizon covered in trash; the coral reefs may look faded and tired and with barely enough fish to count on one hand…For visitors, what version of the paradise they may find is becoming unpredictable and some may never return, depending on their experience.For locals, it’s a different matter—as seafood prices go up and children develop rashes after swimming in the ocean, and as houses flood after each storm and tourists turn their backs on the islands, the paradise is increasingly looking less idyllic.Sounding a wake-up call to protect the reefsMore than 100 million people in the wider Caribbean region live on, or near the coast in a complex ecosystem with the highest number of marine species in the Atlantic Ocean.Shallow-water coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, lagoons, estuaries and beaches as well as coral banks and rocky outcrops in deep waters together make up the coral reef sub-ecosystem, the richest in biodiversity in the wider Caribbean region.Almost 10 per cent of the world’s coral reefs are found in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and 45 per cent of the fish species and 25 per cent of the coral species are found nowhere else in the world. With an area of 10,429 square kilometres of mangrove forest, the adjacent North Brazil Shelf has the highest mangrove coverage of any large marine ecosystem.This wide ecosystem supports three of the region’s major fisheries—reef fish, spiny lobster and conch—and is the foundation of the region’s tourism industry. Coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds also play an important part in coastal and shoreline protection under normal sea conditions as well as during hurricanes and tropical storms.A 2016 study by the World Bank put the economic value of the Caribbean Sea alone at US$407 billion per year. Yet this precious ecosystem is at the heart of competing economic and social demands as well as natural stresses and threats.Pollution from activities on land and at sea degrades and destroys the reef.  Many once-abundant species are now threatened or endangered.Hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more severe, resulting in great destruction and loss of lives, leaving both the coastline and local communities more vulnerable to future shocks.A strategy to keep it pristineSince 1981, UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme has been working with the region’s national governments to better manage and use coastal and marine resources. Following the establishment, in 1983, of the Cartagena Convention—the only legally binding agreement for the protection of the Caribbean Sea—the programme has relentlessly worked to gain acceptance of, and agreement upon, three protocols or agreements to combat oil spills [the Oil Spills Protocol] coastal and marine biodiversity [the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol] and pollution [the Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution Protocol] among its 28 member states and 14 territories.As a result of the analysis of the wider Caribbean region conducted between 2007 and 2011 by the joint United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility’s Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Project (2009–2014), the coral reef sub-ecosystem was given priority in a regional strategy to address transboundary problems that compromise the ability of the Caribbean Sea and the region’s living marine resources to support social and ecological well-being and resilience.In the last two years, the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol, together with the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project 2015–2020, published theReport on the State of Marine Habitats in the Wider Caribbean, which then became the basis for the Regional Strategy and Action Plan for the Valuation, Protection and/or Restoration of Key Marine Habitats in the Wider Caribbean 2021–2030. The strategy recommends a series of measures to support the people, economies and ecology of the region, targeting coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds in particular. Using an integrated approach, participating governments and stakeholders from academia, civil society, the private sector, and regional and global agencies are working together to enhance management and conservation of the coral reef sub-ecosystem in support of sustainable development.UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme, as Secretariat of the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol, has been working to revamp the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Managers Network and establish a regional wildlife enforcement network, in efforts to improve marine biodiversity management. Assisting the region and its countries in co-executing the strategic action plan is another important step in this direction. The Caribbean Environment Programme is driving the process, building the alliances needed to ensure the integrity of Caribbean coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves, in the hope to bring back the paradise we all expect.last_img read more

#SmartCity: Miami Earns Top Digital Cities Award for Innovation Efforts

first_imgMiami, Florida – The City of Miami and its Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) have been recognized by the Center for Digital Government for their ongoing, wide-ranging efforts to drive innovation into all facets of the local government and the residents it serves.Miami earned first place in the 2019 Digital Cities Survey for cities with a population between 250,000 and 499,999 for the work of its DoIT team, which has is focused over the past year on making the department more agile in its operations and service delivery.“This is a welcome recognition for the City of Miami and shows that our commitment to organization-wide innovation is moving the needle in terms of better serving our residents and operating more effectively,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “I applaud our DoIT team for their efforts and for advancing a new way of working and delivering public services.”As it endeavors to be more agile in its operations and service, Miami’s DoIT technologists have focused their efforts on several key areas for change or improvement:Providing citizen-centric solutions that place users firstCreating data-driven efficienciesIncreasing cybersecurity measures to safeguard public resourcesBoosting network resilience by moving City’s data center to a fortified siteEstablishing clear data governance standardsPromoting innovation techniques throughout the entire City organization through the Miami Innovation AcademyIn the past year, the City’s technology professionals have launched and completed several projects that support these focus areas. From adopting a mobile-first approach for online content, to gathering feedback through continuous user testing, to moving paper-based permitting processes online, to completing the physical relocation of the City’s data center, DoIT has taken decisive steps to improve how the City delivers services to the public.“I’m proud of our DoIT team for being true champions of innovation and making huge strides over the past year in how we work, deliver services to the public and strengthen our assets for the long term,” said Mike Sarasti, the City of Miami’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of DoIT. “We’re all-in on innovation here in the Magic City and appreciate the Center for Digital Government for recognizing our efforts.”The Center for Digital Government announced the winners of the 2019 Digital Cities Survey late last week. Now in its 19th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity and more. The survey is open to all U.S. cities and selected national leaders in the Top 10 characteristics of a Digital City: Leadership Alignment, Citizen-centric, Efficient, Data Governance, Secure, Resilient, Staffed/ Supported, Connected, Innovative, and Best Practices.last_img read more

Mirio Mella – Pinnacle: Betting Resources – Why education matters

first_img Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Submit Related Articles Share ESI Digital – No Drama Please… Esports growth should be treated as business as usual  August 20, 2020 Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 Mirio Mella, PinnaclePlacing player education at the forefront of its business strategy, sportsbook Pinnacle has launched its ‘Betting Resources’ program as a key initiative for 2017.Mirio Mella Head of Customer Engagement details the program’s execution and why player education can mark a difference within a saturated online betting market._________________________SBC: Hi Mirio great to catch up, can you detail to SBC readers, Pinnacle’s ‘Betting Resources’ initiative and why you have placed ‘education’ at the heart of player development?Mirio Mella: Hi SBC and thanks for opportunity to talk about Betting Resources, something that I am very passionate about.I started at Pinnacle over 10 years ago as a Copywriter (via the Racing Post) and as soon as I understood the unique way we operated I saw both an opportunity and real commercial benefit in communicating our USPs in an interesting and diverse way. Betting Resources is the culmination of a journey to achieve that via educational content.It is because of the unique nature of the Pinnacle model that we have placed education at the heart of player development. Value-seeking players generally find us, we don’t have to find them, and they appreciate what we have to offer – low margins, high limits and the security of knowing that we won’t restrict them if they are successful. That low margin model isn’t, however, compatible with a huge above-the-line marketing spend, so reaching an audience beyond the savvy value-seekers requires a different approach.The general expectation within bettors outside of that savvy group is the incentive-led model, which is well served by what we consider the ‘soft’ books. Pinnacle doesn’t offer incentives, and without the big ATL spend, our brand is less recognisable, so we are playing a longer game to build awareness among the wider, more recreational betting community. A large component of the strategy to overcome those challenges and build brand trust is telling our story via content.Courting customers in this way – without incentives and big Marketing spend – takes a little bit longer but the content led approach – especially our focus on transparency and no gimmicks – engenders trust and produces a much longer lasting relationship, and greater LTV. It also generates a lot of brand ambassadors who, in turn, help to spread the word and reduce CPAs.SBC: For Pinnacle what is the overall gain in its development of Betting Resources, is its overall purpose geared towards player acquisition, retention or branding?MM: It is actually all three. With SEO a core component of the development of Betting Resources we certainly acquire customers directly via organic search, particularly around intent focused keywords, though naturally competition around these terms is high.We have also focused on making content easy to share and embed through our Affiliate network and share via Social Media, which both drive direct acquisition, but the assist component of Betting Resources is significant. Our data shows that a new visitor journey that includes Betting Resources is far more likely to convert than one that doesn’t.We have also incorporated Betting Resources into our CRM strategy, where content consistently generates better engagement, with our monthly Pulse Newsletter – featuring the latest and best articles – a key content-led initiative. The use of a real-time CRM middleware enables us to pull our RSS Feeds in seamlessly into emails, and target them by user preference.The branding impact has in part been covered in my answer above. Betting Resources features articles falling in four main categories – Features, Explainers, Previews and Facts & Figures. Of those the addition of Feature style content – more magazine like – was a conscious decision to reach a broader audience, covering subjects like the history of gambling or how fake news impacts information gathering. This is intended to help expose the brand, by planting a seed in a curious visitor’s mind who isn’t necessarily expected to sign up on the strength of the piece, but leave with a positive impression of Pinnacle as a different kind of bookmaker, which in time might grow into a desire to return and become a customer.SBC: Can sports betting brands differentiate through education driven content? Can and should a bookmaker really teach its customer base?MM: It really depends on the brand and how you define ‘education’. I am not sure how credible a bookmaker would seem producing educational based content yet charging its customers a 10% margin to place a bet when 2% is available elsewhere.Education can take many forms, such as a greater appreciation of the statistical nature of sport – as opposed to a subjective armchair fan approach – but I personally see value as fundamental to betting education, so unless a bookmaker genuinely offers value, any educational approach may come across as slightly disingenuous.Exchanges are well placed as betting facilitators to take an educational approach, and several are doing a good job. Just like Pinnacle, they are volume driven, but I am not expecting soft books to emulate what we are doing with Betting Resources.Given what I have already said, I firmly believe – in the right circumstances – that it makes commercial sense for a bookmaker to teach its customer base. It can also provide huge brand value so long as there is a genuine commitment to offering useful information. If you are just ticking a box, or copying what is already out there you will be perceived as derivative, in much the same way as anyone trying to banter like Paddy Power would be called out.For Pinnacle, education makes perfect sense. Our Director of Trading likes to talk of our informed customers acting as his consultants, helping shape our lines. We are happy for them to win, given the value of the insight they provide; in essence we need intelligent customers to make our model work so educating them through content is entirely sensible.SBC: What internal/operational gains has Pinnacle gained through developing Betting Resources and placing a high emphasis on education?MM: This is an interesting question, and actually quite topical. Our Director of Trading was recently speaking at a Data Science event in Brussels, and in order to help promote his attendance and message – that Pinnacle is heavily immersed in data science – we leveraged Betting Resources to tease his presentation and explore the themes. You can read about how R is driving sports betting innovation here.This is just one example of how Betting Resources can act as a focal point for many aspects of the Pinnacle brand, whether it being our focus on education, our transparency or our innovation through data science.SBC: How do you see ‘Betting Resources’ developing in the coming months?MM: We added a Betting Tools section in June, with a range of Betting Calculators, which moved BR from passive education, via great content about themes like odds formats, maximising payouts, measuring value and arbs, to allowing customers to actively measure these things for themselves.We haven’t finished the full development of the Tools section, which will soon include widgetised versions of the calculators for our Affiliates to easily embed on their sites.You’ll see our feed – Betting Resources’ home page – become even more dynamic with short-form posts complementing longer form articles.As mentioned above SEO is huge component of BR’s acquisition value and there are several structural upgrades specific to improving SEO that are in pre-production. Along with the improvement in Google’s eyes, they will enhance the user experience.We have an amazing group of contributors, who help maintain an exceptional level of content, and I want to expand that pool, but keeping the standard high, so expect more recognised authors and academics.There are also a couple of exciting developments ahead of the new domestic soccer season that I want to keep under wraps, but rest assured when the time comes SBC will be among the first to know.___________________________Mirio Mella – Head of Customer Engagement – Pinnaclelast_img read more

Betfair – Record breaking summer of betting on women’s sports

first_img Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Share Submit Share Tonight’s semi-final clash between tournament favourites England and host nation Holland marks the continuation of a record breaking summer of betting on women’s sport. England earned their spot in the semi-final with a hard fought victory over France last Sunday, in a game that traded £2.5m on Betfair. So far, Betfair has traded over £30m on the tournament from over 50,000 customers, with a total of £6m just on England games.If the Lionesses can continue their heroic run with victory at FC Twente’s Der Grolsch Veste stadium this evening, Betfair expect the final to break the previous trading record of £4m on women’s football, set at the 2015 World Cup. Nonetheless, Mark Sampson’s side remain unlikely to break the trading record of over £40m on a women’s sporting event, set last weekend at the cricket World Cup final when England defeated India. Katie Baylis, Spokesperson for Betfair, told SBC: “It really has been a huge summer for women’s sport with the Cricket World Cup, Euros and the upcoming Rugby World Cup, and we have certainly seen unprecedented interest when it comes to betting on these events.“The Cricket World Cup final, which saw England beat India, had record crowds and viewing figures and was also a betting record for us on a women’s sporting event, with over £40m bet on the Betfair Exchange.“If they can make the final, we predict that game will become the biggest women’s football match in Betfair history in terms of volume, beating the £4m bet on the 2015 World Cup.” Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 StumbleUpon ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

Smarkets revels in record breaking Grand National

first_img Bakhshi and Shaddick launch ‘Art of the Possible’ podcast tracking US 2020 developments August 10, 2020 Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit Related Articles Share Smarkets gains green light to enter Swedish market July 28, 2020 Smarkets has revealed that last Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National broke the Smarkets record for most trading volume on a single event.The previous record was set at last year’s National, when a total of £44.5m was traded on the world’s most famous horse race. This time around, the Smarkets exchange had £57.4m of volume across all its National markets, an increase of 29% on 2017.Smarkets CEO Jason Trost commented: “Once again our platform performed superbly, despite the record volume, while other operators had to restrict users in the build-up and after the big race. Having also released some awesome updates to the platform in recent months, 2018 has been a great year so far.”The record Grand National volume comes just a few weeks after an extremely successful Cheltenham Festival for Smarkets, when £138m was traded over the festival’s 28 races. Press Officer at Smarkets, Pascal Lemesre emphasised why he thinks Smarkets continues to be a popular platform for horse racing punters: “I think our focus on great technology, along with strong pricing and liquidity, is why more and more people are choosing to use Smarkets for their betting and trading. The platform has been performing well and with the recent addition of a fresh design and new app, we’ve seen plenty more people signing up to Smarkets.” Looking ahead he continued: “With more custom comes greater volume, which is always good, but we have to keep releasing exciting and useful updates to stand out from the crowd. It’s already been a great start to 2018 and we’re excited for the next few months in what is a World Cup year.”last_img read more